LA club Oil Can Harry’s closes after more than 50 years of business


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One of the longest-running LGBTQ establishments in the US, Oil Can Harry’s in Los Angeles, announced yesterday that it would not be reopening at its current home.

Located in the Studio City neighborhood, the venue has been welcoming gay men through its doors – particularly leather men and cowboy lovers – since 1968. The bar was a regular home to the LA Wranglers line-dancing club, among other groups. It has been closed in recent months in line with COVID restrictions.

Related: 10 of the oldest and most iconic gay bars in the US

Last month, Gay Cities included the venue in a list of the oldest gay bars in the US, noting at the time, “The building has been on the market for sale. However, the management of Oil Can Harry’s says they’re looking forward to reopening soon and working with any new landlords to extend their lease.”


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That situation has now changed. A message posted to the venue’s website yesterday, said the property sold in December.

“It was purchased on December 9th by a new buyer, who wants to have their own venue with jazz music.

“So, at this time I have to vacate the property–nothing bad or ugly, just something I have to do.

“I fought hard to keep it, but just had to give up… Not sure where it will lead down the road.

“Thank you all for this beautiful gift that we shared for 52 years.

“Please, no negative posts on social media! It only hurts. Only positive would help! Any help would be wonderful.”

Gay Cities has reached out to the management for further comment.

Related: The iconic venues that won’t be returning after COVID-19

The venue was used as a filming location in 1999 for the movie, Happy, Texas, which gives a feel for a typical line-dancing night.

In 2017, the band Haim shot the video for their single ‘Little of Your Love’ at the venue.

In 2019, Oil Can Harry’s was hired by Mark Ronson as a post-Grammy’s party venue, with attendees including Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

Related: Historic downtown Los Angles bar The New Jalisco on the brink of closure due to COVID-19

WeHo Times reports that the property is owned by Monti Overstreet, which also owns the West Hollywood venues previously occupied by Rage Nightclub and Gold Coast Bar. Both businesses closed in recent months following unsuccessful rent negotiations. Other local LGBTQ bars to close during the pandemic include Gym Sportsbar and Flaming Saddles.


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